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Found 12 results

  1. The federal government recently announced that it would use the 457 visa skilled migration program to fast-track the number of skilled workers applying from the United States. In defending this move, Federal Minister for Skills Chris Evans suggested that this was not a case of discriminating in favour of US workers, but rather cementing an important, existing relationship between the two countries. He also argued the move could redress acute labour shortages in some parts of the Australia economy while also providing employment opportunities for the workers from the US, where unemployment is running at 8.2 per cent (considerably higher than Australia’s rate of 5.2 per cent). In particular, these employees would target the construction sector, where much of the current unmet demand for labour is in the development of large-scale mining projects. Some benefits of this move appear obvious. In a recent article examining employer calls for an expansion of 457 visas in mining, I argued that workers from different cultural contexts, with non-English speaking backgrounds, might face greater challenges at the workplace and in remote mining communities. In particular, that article highlighted workplace health and safety concerns, and this concern was raised by the minister in explaining the move to expand the numbers of US migrant workers. But there remains concern about the capacity of skilled migration to undermine employment opportunities for local workers, and a sense that government and employers should be seeking to maximise local employment opportunities. Given that employers have pushed hard for an expansion of the skilled migration scheme, it is critical to examine the motives of employers in pressing this case. Operating as an employer-sponsored employment scheme, a key benefit to employers of 457 visas is their capacity to tie employees to a particular firm. That employers are able to restrict worker mobility is crucial to understanding how employers manage labour in contexts where they are dealing with skilled workers in tight labour markets. In human resource management (HRM) literature there is a well known 'training paradox' that highlights the dilemma for employers in managing skilled workers in highly competitive markets. The training dilemma occurs because acute labour shortages and high labour mobility act as impediments to the provision of training and development. Put simply, employers do not want to invest in workers who might leave, or be poached by other employers competing within the same labour pool. On the other hand, not investing in employees also risks high levels of turnover as skilled workers expect development opportunities, and perceive these to be part of the implicit employment contract. Even prior to training, skilled workers incur substantial recruitment costs and so the investment does not pay off without a period of sustained employment. So the attraction of an employer-sponsored scheme is then twofold. First, the skills required are already provided, lessening the need to incur substantial training costs. This is a known as a 'buy' rather than 'make' decision. Second, job hopping (or employer poaching) is limited by the very nature of the scheme: that employment is dependent on the sponsorship of a particular employer. While employees could, of course, change sponsors, there is still a strong moral, if not formal, contract to stay with the original sponsor. Since the 1990s Australia’s employment relations system has been increasingly decentralised. We have moved away from standardisation of terms and conditions of employment across occupations and industries – which occurred under the previous industrial arbitration system – to enterprise and individual level bargaining. Employers have welcomed this as a way of increasing workplace flexibility. The danger for employers however is that this decentralisation has exacerbated competition for workers, particularly in areas of skilled labour shortage, resulting in labour poaching, increased wages and the aforementioned HRM dilemmas. In areas of skill shortages in particular, employers require measures to contain these competitive tendencies, and this would seem to highlight their desire for an expansion of the skilled migrant workers scheme.
  2. The Pom Queen

    Worlds Best Places to Live 2012

    This time of year we are deluged with lists involving either last year or the current one, and a new entry that might be of interest to the expat communities has just been released. The Daily Telegraph in the UK (known for its right-wing politics and likely an upscale readership) has announced the results of its survey of the World’s best places to live in 2012. Evidently about 1500 of their readers participated (definitely a small sample for an unscientific poll) and the Top 10 choices are: Hong Kong New York City Auckland, New Zealand Turks and Caicos Islands Tasmania Maui, Hawaii Buenos Aires Barbados Victoria, British Colombia Cape Town, South Africa What I think is especially weird about the survey results is that they are a total mix of places that are barely alike in any way. I’d have thought that many people who choose Paris or Barcelona, or perhaps a long list of islands in the Caribbean, but these people are literally all over the map. Hong Kong and New York City The top two slots are actually very similar in that they have kind of an anything goes reputation, and living well in them is incredibly expensive. Auckland (and its suburbs) This seems an odd pick because travellers to New Zealand generally rate Auckland itself as their least favourite part of the whole country. Evidently this particular suburb is quite nice, but if you are dreaming of moving to New Zealand why move to its biggest city? Turks and Caicos and Barbados These actually make sense, especially if you survey people during the winter months. It’s still a bit odd that these two made the Top 10 and others like the Caymans or Bermuda or the British Virgin Islands didn’t. Tasmania I’ve not been to Tasmania and it sounds quite nice. It’s hard to believe it’s popular enough to make this list, but obviously it did. Maui, Hawaii The survey was done by a UK newspaper and if it were done in the US then Maui would likely be at or near the top. Buenos Aires This seems like an interesting choice because BA really is a fantastic city that also offers very good value to foreigners. Probably voted in by people who had very good holidays there, and I’d be tempted to vote for it myself for the same reason. Victoria, British Columbia Another unusual choice, partly because Vancouver, the large city closest to Victoria, seems to top the “most liveable cities” lists almost every year. Victoria is out on Vancouver Island, and it feels more like England than anywhere outside of the British Isles. The weather isn’t any better either, so you have to wonder the motivation to go all that way. Cape Town Another I haven’t been to yet, but I hear it’s like a nicer version of Los Angeles, with a rather good climate. If the rest of South Africa had fewer problems then this one would probably be higher. The bottom line As fun as these lists can be, I think one like this where each participant is able to create his own definition of a vague question, is hard to take too seriously. And I’d think that if a left-wing newspaper read by the working class was to do one the list might include Spain and Portugal and maybe Florida.
  3. Guest

    Only in America (or not)

    "Texas, right? I can tell by the accent." Not even close, mate! Said, by a local to my English sounding(ish) Australian husband when out and about in San Francisco today. Anyone else had their accent mistaken as being from another country (or continent even)?
  4. The Pom Queen

    9/11 America Remembers

    Just watching it live now, it's something when the president has to stand behind bullet proof glass:no: RIP America:wubclub:
  5. Guest

    moving from America

    hello, we have been offered a position in Melbourne and I am researching the city to get information about the country and the "system of thing"- for a lack of better words. we are from the US. I have 3 young children 2 are in school- 3rd grade and 1st grade. do you have grades or levels there? what is the period of time children go to school? here it is from August-May and then out june and july. What is the registration process do you simply bring id and proof of residence? Is there zoning- where you live determines what school you attend.? Thank you!
  6. sharron pickett

    Bring a dog from America?

    Helllo everyone, We will be moving to Australia and any advice on bringing our little dog would be great. We are coming from the USA, he will be 2 yrs when we come, he has been chipped and has had the rabies shot. I'm not sure if coming in from the USA has different rules to coming from the UK, but any advice would be great. Thanks Sharron.
  7. I was sent this today and thought it was quite funny, seems to me a case of the Karma Bus working at its best,lol This took place in Charlotte North Carolina. A lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars, then insured them against, among other things, fire. Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company. In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost 'in a series of small fires' ... The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason, that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion. The lawyer sued and WON! ( Stay with me. ) Delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous. The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer held a policy from the company, in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable 'fire' and was obligated to pay the claim. Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars that perished in the 'fires'. NOW FOR THE BEST PART... After the lawyer cashed the check, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!! With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine. This true story won First Place in last year's Criminal Lawyers Award contest. ONLY IN AMERICA .... NO WONDER THE REST OF THE WORLD THINKS THEY'RE NUTS. Cal x
  8. Guest

    Done With America!

    Hi all, Well, I hope you don't mind someone from the States to join your community. Quite frankly, I'm just fed up with living in and being associated with America. I've been to Oz a couple times in the past year and, without a doubt, feel it's the best option and a great opportunity to start a new life, new future. Let's see... I'm 32, single, work in Finance for an engineering firm, and currently live in Santa Barbara, California as of the past seven years. I'm a huge traveler, love to cycle, I'm a science geek (Physics and Astronomy), and enjoy good beer and fine Pinot. Some other things about me; I've lived in Italy for a couple years, been playing House records in my spare time in clubs/pubs for the past 10 years, and am an avid equities trader (not work-related). I've been visiting the site and researching visa details for the past month and will apply for the 175. I hope to lodge my app by mid-January. Hopefully I won't be a pain (I use the search function), but I also hope to be of some assistance. Any PMs from other American expats or finance/banking/accounting professionals would be greatly appreciated. Mike
  9. tracy123

    Why not America?

    Why is it that you chose Australia why not America or somewhere else? Why is Australia the place to be? Cheers Geoffrey
  10. HI GUYS JUST WANTED TO SHARE MY NEWS - BOOKED HOLIDAY TO NEW ENGLAND IN AMERICA TODAY ! MY SISTER IN LAW IS AMERICAN AND HER AND MY BROTHER ARE GOING OVER FOR HER DADS 60TH BIRTHDAY SURPRISE - WE WERENT SURE WHETHER TO GO OR NOT AS WE ARE STILL WAITING FOR CASE OFFICER AND WITH XMAS UPON US WE WERENT SURE ABOUT FUNDS - BUT WE THOUGH TO HELL YOU ONLY LIVE ONCE !! WE ARE GOING OUT IN FEB AND MY SON / DAUGHTER AND HER BOYFRIEND ARE COMING TOO SO IT WILL BE THE LAST TIME WE WILL ALL [HOPEFULLY] BE ALL BE ABLE TO GO AWAY TOGETHER. CANT WAIT AND HEY IF OZ DONT ACCEPT US WHO KNOWS WE MIGHT GO WEST LOL MRS KEILY :jiggy::jiggy::jiggy:
  11. samozsoon

    Flights via America

    Hiya all We have been invited to stay with friends in Detriot for Christmas and as we need to be in Sydney in January for hubby to start his new job, we thought we'd take them up on their kind offer and fly via America (or Canada) to Oz. Has anyone been this way? I know Qantas and Air New Zealand fly via LA, but do any other airlines go via the US? Does anyone know of any cheap airlines that fly to New York or Toronto and any that go just from the US to Oz (it maybe cheaper to go with 2 seperate airlines)? Getting excited now:jiggy: Thanks everyone. Sam xx
  12. Hi All, Not the normal route I know !! However, want to take advantage of time imbetween jobs. Finding it difficult to get there via Brazil etc. Anybody else tried ?? Thanks
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